LAMBTON High School teacher Daniel Wilson was in a Zoom call with several Star Struck students two weeks ago when Newcastle's ARIA Award-winning country-pop star, Morgan Evans, joined in unexpectedly.
Wilson's one-time Star Struck student, turned friend, had some special news for his former mentor - Wilson had been nominated for the ARIA Music Teacher award.
"It was pretty wild," Wilson said.
On Wednesday Wilson's name featured among some of the biggest in the Australian music industry like Amy Shark, Tones and I, Keith Urban, AC/DC and Vance Joy when the nominations for the 2021 ARIA Awards were released.
For the past 21 years Wilson has volunteered his service to Star Struck, rising to become the annual school performing arts extravaganza's musical director.
During that time Wilson has seen the likes of Golden Guitar-winning country musicians Catherine Britt and Kirsty Lee Akers, Play School's Michelle Davidson and Broadway musical theatre star David Harris pass through Star Struck.
Wilson himself performed at Star Struck in 1993 when he attended Kotara High.
"Sydney gets these sorts of opportunities quite regularly, but Star Struck is something quite unique to the Hunter region," he said. "It's 30 years next year so it's part of Newcastle's DNA. Everyone knows it. Every second person has been in it."
Unfortunately for Wilson COVID-19 restrictions mean the infamous ARIA after parties are off the agenda.
The awards will be held virtually on November 24.